Testimony: 9 members of family killed at home when army bombs near UNWRA school, Jabalya refugee camp, Jan. '09

Hussein Dib, 26

I live in the Jabalya refugee camp, 80 meters from UNRWA's al-Fakhura school. I lived on the ground floor with my mother, Shama, my brother, Mu'in, his wife Amal, and their children: Alaa, 20, Muhammad, 15, Mustafa, 13, Asil, 8, and Nur, 4.  My brother Samir lived on the first floor with his wife and their children: Muhammad, 23, Fatma, 20, Ziad, 18, ‘Isam, 14, and Fadel, 12.

On Tuesday morning [6 January], we woke up and tried to figure out how we could get bread. Samir's sons went looking but the bakeries had none, and they returned about an hour later empty-handed. Mu'in's wife decided to bake bread in a small electric pan we have, and Samir's wife helped her. We all sat with them in the yard in front of the house while they made the bread.

While waiting for the bread to be ready, we heard the sound of bombings and gunfire. Around 4 P.M., there was a huge explosion next to us, and smoke covered the yard. I couldn't see my brothers or their children. My body hurt all over. After a few minutes, the smoke began to clear and I saw a few of my relatives strewn on the ground, covered in blood. Nur was lying next to me, covered in blood. She groaned in pain. I lifted her up and barely managed to get up and walk with her to the main road.

House of the Dib family in Jabalya refugee camp. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, 7 Jan. '09.
House of the Dib family in Jabalya refugee camp. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, 7 Jan. '09.

When I got to the road, I saw lots of dead and wounded people. People were running around helping the injured. One of them took Nur from me and ran with her to an ambulance. Then I fell to the ground. I had been wounded in the legs and couldn't stand. Somebody picked me up and dragged me to a vehicle that had about ten injured people in it. The vehicle drove us to Kamal ‘Adwan Hospital, in Beit Lahiya. From there, I was taken with my nephews Ziad and Alaa, who were severely injured, to a-Shifaa Hospital in Gaza City.

The next day, I learned that my mother, my brother Samir, and his children Muhammad, Fatma, and ‘Isam, and Muin's children Muhammad, Mustafa, Asil, and Nur, had been killed by shrapnel from the shell that had fallen next to us as we sat waiting for the bread.

Hussein Shafiq 'Abd al-Hamid Dib, 26, single, resident of Jabalya refugee camp, Gaza Strip. The testimony was given to Muhammad Sabah in Jabalya on Jan. '09.